Looking ahead to the Champions League

The draw has taken place recently for the Champions League group stages. As always, a fascinating tournament beckons, with some mouth-watering clashes in this first group stage.

Teams sharing a group, notably, include Paris and Real Madrid in Group A, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona in Group F, Liverpool and Napoli in Group E and Chelsea and Valencia in Group H.

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Huge clashes from Matchday 1

The draw has set the scene for some fantastic games on the very first matchday of the tournament.

Liverpool start by duking it out with Napoli. It won’t be the first time they’ve faced each other in Champions League competition – and it was Klopp’s men who made it further last time.

Goalkeeping issues may affect the Reds’ Champions League fortunes, with regular keeper Alisson having suffered injury and the team’s new back-up keeper also picking up an injury this season.

A friendly between the two teams this summer went 3–0 in Napoli’s favour, though. A 2–2 draw is possible this time, but with Mohammed Salah on the squad, the scoreboard could register a much higher score, too.

In Group A, Spanish super club Real Madrid visit Paris Saint German, where they’ll be firing the shots at one of their former goalkeepers, Keylor Navas, who has just signed for the club on a four year contract.

Gareth Bale will be a real force, but Paris Saint Germain will feel relieved to have Neymar for the time being. Look for a 1–0 win to the visitors for this one in what will be a toughly contested game.

Over in Group F, Barcelona will visit German giants Borussia Dortmund first.

After their shock defeat in the championship last year by Liverpool, the Spanish club will be hungry to return to the Camp Nou with the silverware this year.

They’ll be thankful to have held on to Argentine superstar Leo Messi, who can leave the club at the end of each season for free if he chooses to.

Meanwhile, Dortmund will be hoping USA youth international Geo Reyna can inject some extra verve into the strong Bundesliga side. Barcelona look good for a 2–1 win in this one.

Chelsea begin their group stage football with a visit from Valencia and, despite losing Eden Hazard and David Luiz, will still be feeling confident: they’ve not lost in six clashes with the side.

The arrival of centre-forward Maxi Gómez to Valencia could give the Spaniards an edge that makes the London lads nervous. A 2–1 win in favour of Chelsea could be on the cards.

Who will go through?

The Champions League is an ideal tournament for a bet, so a look at the latest football accumulator tips is a good place to start.

Experts are expecting Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain to progress through to the next stage, and the same of Liverpool and Napoli, and of Dortmund and Barcelona.

Chelsea are a favourite to go through from their group, too, but pundits are expecting Ajax, rather than Valencia, to be the ones who join them.

Of course, there were some big upsets last season, which will make the 2019/20 season even more interesting to watch.

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